November - December 2006
Sandi Patty - Gay Icon?
Gay newspaper Washington Blade carries a lengthy
Sandi Patty's Christmas concert on Saturday
night with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and includes a considerable amount
of discussion on whether she is a gay icon. Some excerpts:
One of the curious little things that nobody ever talks about when it comes
to Sandi Patty is her considerable throng of gay fans.
...The fascination for gay men with Patty is probably nothing more than the same
kind of thing that makes gay men who love dance music flock to Kylie Minogue or
makes opera queens lap up anything by Renee Fleming — there's something that's
hard to put a finger on about strong, powerful, talented, successful alpha
females that appeals to gay men. Patty just happens to be the quintessential CCM
version of that.
Who knows what Patty's own religious convictions are on gays? To my knowledge,
she's never spoken publicly on such matters and if her feelings aren't as
gay-friendly as I'd like to hope they might be, then she's smart to keep her
...Seeing the gays at a Sandi Patty concert is always a bit surreal, but
increasingly less unexpected. Patty crowds are full of the usual types you'd
imagine — Saturday night's show at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall had a healthy dose of
folks you just knew were going to be in church the next morning. But the gays
are always there, too. It's so refreshing. Sandi Patty concerts provide that
rare place where evangelical fundamentalists and gays can join together in a
peaceful setting where it's not about demonizing each other or political debate
— we're all just there, grateful to be in the presence of such talent.
December 20th, 2006
the Curly-Headed, Angelic-Voiced, High-Energy Singer
See if you can guess
which popular Southern Gospel singer (former
Southern Gospel singer?) the Huntington Herald-Dispatch is writing about:
P., the curly-headed former [deleted] member, is rightfully wearing a little
path to the gorgeous theater.
Monday's concert is the third visit to the Paramount for the angelic-voiced
tenor who is a whole lot gospel, a whole lot pop and a little bit rock and roll.
P. brings his high-energy act to the Paramount at 7 p.m. Monday and entertains
with a little help from his friends, Christian comedian Daren Streblow and
Anthem Avenue, a new vocal trio from Nashville. Tickets are $20 and $25.
..."It is one of our favorite places to go on our tours," said P. in a phone
interview from his home in Nashville. "We always have a good turnout, and we
always look forward to it."
December 11th, 2006
Guy Penrod - Public Speaker
What do you do when you turn up at a singing engagement with a bad case of
laryngitis? If you're Guy Penrod - standing in for Gloria Gaither at
Hannibal-LaGrange College in Missouri - you give a speech instead.
Read all about it.
December 7th, 2006
David Phelps talks to the Shreveport Times:
Phelps is best known for his time as a member of the Gaither Vocal Band.
Joining the band in 1997, he has been featured on more than 30 projects with the
"Being a member of the vocal band was an easier job. You just get up on stage
and do what you are supposed to do," Phelps said. "When you get on stage as a
soloist you are in charge of everything. It's a lot more work but it's also more
December 1st, 2006
Lightning-Quick Runs and Flowery Arpeggios
Great feature on the late
Wally Varner, formerly pianist with the
Blackwood Brothers Quartet:
As a pianist, Varner played with flair and command, spicing up the simple
melodies of gospel songs with lightning-quick runs and flowery arpeggios. In
solo albums released in his later years, Varner showed himself familiar with a
wide variety of musical styles, playing gospel songs with honky-tonk, blues,
Latin and jazz inflections.
"Anthony Burger once said that when it was Wally's turn to play, he owned that
end of the stage," [Polly Varner] said. "It was a gift. He could just do it."
November 20th, 2006
Stick with the Lower Register
The Grand Rapids Press interviews
"When I started singing, I tried to emulate Sandi Patty -- go figure," Randle
said of the high-soprano, inspirational artist. "But the principal at my school
told me to stick with the lower register -- that would be my ticket. And now
that I'm doing it ... he was exactly right."
Read too her comments on being "something of an anomaly -- one of just a handful
of black artists in Southern gospel music, a genre with comparatively few
November 17th, 2006
Will Their Heart Fly Our Of Their Back?
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer writes about
Mark Lowry's recent health problems:
While on his back, recuperating, Lowry had a lot of time to think. Morphine
probably helped. For instance, after signing some papers to receive bones from
cadavers, he wondered if the bones came from Christians; and that if someone
else receives, say, a heart of a non-Christian, "Will their heart fly out of
their back when the Rapture comes?"
November 13th, 2006
Gaither Homecoming Ticketmonster
A columnist writes in the
Kansas City Star, under the headline "Ticketmonster?":
I recently purchased four tickets online for the Bill Gaither Homecoming
concert. The only way to get the tickets was through Ticketmaster. I was
appalled at how much they cost — not the tickets themselves but the add-ons.
Actual price for the four was $74, but my credit card was charged $111.90. On
each ticket purchased, there was a facility charge of $1 and a convenience
(whose convenience?) charge of $7.70. Finally, there was the “order processing
fee” of $3.10.
I believe people are being taken advantage of. There is no other way I know of
to buy tickets to many local events. I think we need an alternative to
November 13th, 2006
Thank You Avery Fineline
The completion of my major writing work means I've been able to read the
Southern Gospel blogs, for the first time in months. I've been especially
Daniel Mount's new blog. And Avery Fineline has
some great posts, notably one on
women in Southern Gospel. He also
kindly congratulated me on my latest book (I
churn them out - books on finance and investment). Over the past few days I've
sent half-a-dozen emails to Avery to thank him. They've all come back,
undeliverable, due to a full mailbox. So, thank you.
Oh, and when I said (below) that Me Blog SG has gone, I should have noted that
it has been replaced by
Southern Gospel Perspective.
November 3rd, 2006
major writing assignment is at last out of the
way and I am in the process of cleaning up this website, for the first time
since I launched it in July 2005. First off all, I'm checking all the blogs in
my Blogs & Boards page,
and removing those that are clearly defunct and/or haven't been updated in quite
So, gone are
Bonnie's Blog (the blog still exists, but
doesn't seem to be written by Bonnie Keen any more),
Crabb Family Blog,
Eddie's View Point,
Me Blog SG,
Off the Shelf,
Cowell of SG Music,
Southern Gospel Commentary
Now to find some replacements.
October 27th, 2006